Most people hear the word “Sustainability” and they immediately think of the natural environment – what are we doing to protect resources and reduce waste? While this is important, here at GCR, “sustainability” means more than just protecting the natural environment – it also means protecting and enhancing the social and economic environment of our local community of Murphys, CA – the place we call home, and the place that sustains our business. It means being a part of the “web” of the local economy by:
- Buying Local – We source as many of our products as possible from local suppliers and vendors, including dairy products and supplies from the neighborhood family-owned market, pastries from local bakers, honey from the local beekeeper, hand-crafted coffee mugs and gift items from local artisans, tea from a local specialty tea purveyor, and more
- Supplying Local – We supply fresh roasted wholesale coffee to numerous local restaurants, hotels and B&B’s, and retail stores who proudly brew and serve our coffee to their customers and guests
- Hiring Local – We give many local kids their first jobs (not always easy to find in a small town of only 2500 people), and provide them with extensive training on customer service, business and workplace etiquette, and the world of coffee – skills that help them build a resume, and that they can carry forward into their future. At any given time we employ about 10 people, whose paychecks get spent for goods and services at other local businesses.
- Banking Local – We bank with El Dorado Savings Bank, a regional community bank that recycles funds directly back into the local communities where they have branches – rather than into international corporate coffers.
Gold Country Roasters is also doing our best to reduce our impact on the environment and help keep our world and our local community green. With every business decision we make, we look for the most environmentally friendly, sustainable option. Sometimes we have to make hard choices between sustainability and “the bottom line,” and unfortunately it doesn’t always make good business sense to choose the “greenest” option. We wish this weren’t so, and we look forward to the day when “green” and “economically viable” are one and the same. In the meantime, here are some of the ways we are doing our small part, in our small corner of the planet, to help sustain the world’s limited resources:
- We source organic, sustainably grown coffees wherever possible – including Fair Trade USA, Rainforest Alliance Certified™ and SMBC Bird Friendly® certified coffees.
- We roast and serve only SWISS WATER® Process or other water processed decaffeinated coffees, which are decaffeinated using an all natural, chemical-free process to gently remove the caffeine while leaving the full flavor intact.
- We serve only hormone-free dairy products and organic, non-GMO soy products
- We use insulated paper cups for all “to go” orders rather than foam cups made with petrochemicals. Our signature “V” cups have a “built in” sleeve to insulate the cup, eliminating the need for an additional, wasteful cup sleeve.
- We serve Made-in-the-USA Aardvark paper straws in lieu of plastic straws, in order to reduce the amount of single use plastic entering the waste stream
- We offer drink discounts to all customers who bring in their own reusable coffee cups and travel mugs
- We serve all in-house orders using real ceramic cups and plates and silverware, to reduce paper and plastic waste
- We sell local artisan-crafted eco-friendly products such as reusable hemp coffee filters and reusable fabric sandwich and snack bags, as well as a variety of low-tech, non-electric coffee brewing equipment such as the Aeropress and single cup pourover filter cones
- We use super-energy efficient LED light bulbs in our light fixtures.
- All of our major appliances are the most energy efficient equipment available and are Energy Star rated
- We recycle all our plastic, cardboard and paper waste
- We recycle all spent coffee grounds and roaster chaff by donating it to local gardeners and farmers for use in their grow beds and compost heaps.
- Our burlap green coffee sacks are repurposed by craftspeople for a wide variety of creative projects, and by local gardeners to protect sensitive plants in the winter.